Every year, the Mercy Appeal helps OM respond to urgent cries for help from suffering people all around the world. Thanks to the generosity and compassion of our partners in the UK we are able to respond quickly and bring relief to people affected by natural disasters, conflict, poverty, oppression and injustice.

On the banks of the river Una, in the North West tip of Bosnia and Herzegovina, a small team of Jesus followers have responded to God's call to love and serve refugees in the small city of Bihać.

Team leader, Rafael (from Costa Rica), was already serving in Bosnia when he felt compelled by God's command to love others and serve the refugees. The OM ministry centre became an 'Open House'; a space for respite, home-cooked food, and a hot shower. Families and individuals are called by name, treated with respect and dignity.

"We are doing something so small and simple, offering space and friendship," Rafael shared. But this simple act of opening their doors is bringing hope and refuge for many. One man who had been bringing his family to the Open House said:

“Since we have come to know you, we are beginning to feel peace and we are beginning to feel alive again.”

LiHuay, a Pastor from Malaysia, first came to Bihać as a church planter with OM nearly four years ago. Reaching out to local Muslims and encouraging the small evangelical church, she was surprised by the sudden refugee crisis that hit Bosnia, causing her ministry focus to change dramatically in 2018.

Aware that she needed the support of the local church in this endeavour she encouraged the church to welcome refugees; “please be open, be praying for them, because some of them are truly seeking Jesus.”

With the church on board with this new ministry focus and doors wide open, hearts are beginning to change as the Gospel is shared.

Sepher's Story

Sepher, a 17-year-old boy, walked through the doors of the Open House. What was it that drew him there? The promise of a hot meal? The rumours of a warm welcome? Whatever it was that brought him there, what he found was enough to bring him back, again and again. He even went along to the local church.

Witnessing and experiencing God’s love, Sepher knew that this was a love worth living for and he gave his life to Jesus. Days later, Sepher had an opportunity to leave the camp where he was living and continue on his journey from Iran to Germany. The OM team were disappointed not to have a chance to disciple and nurture Sepher in his new faith, but they were delighted when they heard from him months later—Sepher had arrived in Germany and was plugged into a local church. His journey with Jesus continues to flourish!

Mohammed's Story

Mohammed became a follower of Jesus when he was at home in Iran—a vision of Jesus in a dream changed everything for him, and his whole family. They became connected with an underground church, a source of fellowship and encouragement, until persecution forced them to flee; “We couldn’t live in peace anymore”, Mohammed recalled, “We were constantly afraid.”

They relished the novelty of worshipping in freedom alongside other believers when they arrived in Bosnia, but ached for their home and struggled with the camp conditions. The OM team felt moved to invite Mohammed and his family to live at the Open House. Natural evangelists, Mohammed and his family now welcome their Iranian friends into the house, serving them and sharing Jesus with them. Once ministered to, they are now ministering to others and seeing the love of Jesus bring hope to many other refugees.

Thank you for your gifts to the Mercy Appeal. Your partnership brings the good news of God’s hope to families like Mohammed’s, and individuals like Sepher.

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